Tomorrow’s World Unveiled Today In Astana

Expo 2017, an International Exposition currently taking taking place in Astana, has stunned and delighted with the new technical innovations on display, many for the first time.

From Korea’s solar powered aircraft to China’s flying train, tomorrow’s world has been on display for the estimated 5 million visitors from across the globe who are expected to pass through the doors of the purpose built site, dominated by a giant globe that will remain as an architectural masterpiece and centre of a new financial centre in Central Asia’s economic driver.

‘Future energy’ is the key theme of Expo 2017, and in the Pavilion of the Celestial Empire, visitors can see the installation of the Sun, represented as a symbol of eternal energy. Here the Japanese are exposing the world to smart energy systems at the household level: we can soon expect domestic appliances such as refrigerators and irons to be solar powered.

The pavilions of these Asian countries, with their new ideas and lofty ambitions, are among the most visited at the exhibition.

European nations, well aware of the pressing need for the development of alternative energy sources, are also present in force, and are demonstrating the fact the they are embracing the future with open arms. 

Tidal power, with the benefits of almost absolute predictability and reliability is a strength of the Italians.

German exhibitors have introduced a house with a facade of living algae, demonstrating how Smart House technology not only helps to save energy, but can also become a source of energy. 

Germany of course is famous for its superb automative industry, and has presented a viable sports car which runs on a electrical power. 

Slovakia has presented the ‘eco-capsule’: a one-room house in which a person can live anywhere in the world. Moving home in the future will be as easy as pitching your tent in a new location.

Almost every day at the exhibition is a national day of a country where delegates try to hold not just a tour for the guests of the exhibition, but also to organize a real show.

The largest pavilion of the Expo is that of the host nation, Kazakhstan. Here are presented virtually all forms of alternative energy sources. Currently there are no less than 50 renewable energy projects underway in the country, with a combined capacity approaching 2000 MW, making it the leader in the field in Central Asia.

The organizers have tried throughout to temper ground breaking science with classical and contemporary entertainment, so new knowledge is imparted in a very accessible environment.

Business has been brisk at the Expo: according to the Secretary General of the European Investment Bank Klaus Trömel, 100 million euros of investment was committed in one week alone. “We try to move from the supply of exclusively oil and uranium from Kazakhstan. We plan to develop renewable energy sources. Of course, there are many already implemented, as well as ongoing projects. Over the past five years, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank provided 500 million euros for the development of projects in the field of clean energy and renewable energy. Today, the EU focuses on building energy-efficient buildings”, said Deputy Director General of EU Energy Directorate Gerasimos Thomas on the sidelines of the forum as part of EXPO2017 in Astana.

He noted that the European Union is the largest foreign investor in Kazakhstan, with the member states interest towards the country growing. “Astana is definitely a new and innovative city. Along with the Kazakh government policies, it has a very great potential for development. But at the same time, it is necessary to develop not only Astana but also pay attention to the modernization of other cities and environmentally friendly solutions during construction. At the same time, energy efficiency refers not only to buildings and cities, it can be applied in any field, be it the development of agriculture, small and medium-sized businesses or civil society”, he added.

Latvian President, Raimonds Vejonis, during trade talks in Astana, stated that “Holding EXPO 2017 in Astana once again stressed the role Kazakhstan in the modern world. Latvia’s participation in this exhibition is a very important event for our nation.

Just as at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1878, where Thomas Edison demonstrated the megaphone and phonograph of his own invention, where Alexander Bell presented an improved model of the telephone, so the participants of EXPO 2017 are showcasing their own best achievements, many of which, as innovative and exciting as they are today, will soon become everyday household objects. “How did we ever manage without them?” we will ask.

At a local level, the site of the Expo, which was Kazakhstan’s largest ever construction project, will leave an abiding legacy.

Interest in the exhibition and in Kazakhstan in general, has increased greatly. Contracts are concluded, investments are attracted, and visitors, young and old, from all corners of the world, have become acquainted with the hospitality, culture, traditions, and way of life of the Kazakh people.

The construction work has given impetus to the city’s economy, improving the transport infrastructure of the city, and providing significant employment opportunities.

The exhibition pavilions themselves were designed to provide the base for the International Financial Centre Astana, giving another powerful impetus to the fastest growing economy of the region. The site will also provide facilities for the students of the Nazarbayev University, ensuring that future generations will continue to benefit from this ambitious and far-sighted project.

https://expo2017astana.com/en/

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

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